Contact Centers: Introducing Agent Conference

Agent Conference for contact centers Twilio
  • Place outbound calls to prospects without TwiML fetch.
  • Agent Whisper feature to coach agents.
  • Available now in public beta.

Conference is at the core of many advanced Twilio Voice API call flows. Over the last year, we’ve made Twilio Conference more powerful and easier to use. We shipped conference events with speaker detection, hold API, end conference API, region selection, and made all conferences Global Low Latency (GLL) by default.

Today we’re excited to announce the public beta of Agent Conference—a new set of conference features that make it easy to connect contact center agents to your customers. It includes two powerful features for contact centers: Agent Whisper and an Outbound Conference Call API.

Agent Whisper

Quality assurance is crucial for contact centers to provide great customer experiences. Supervisors play a big role listening into calls to monitor agents and coach them when they need help. This has always been possible with Twilio by adding a supervisor to a conference and placing them on mute. However, if you want that supervisor to be able to coach an agent in real-time, mute won’t help. Agent Whisper adds the ability for a supervisor to hear all participants in a conference and speak to only one participant—your agent.

The API for Agent Whisper is straightforward. Using the whisper param, specify the call SID of the agent in that conference who should be able to hear the supervisor.

The above TwiML will put a supervisor into the conference, they will be able to hear all participants and only speak to CA1bd06ff67e14ccf3d5ac9ba896305a6b (the agent). In this case, the customer will not hear the supervisor.

Say you would like the supervisor to barge into the call and speak to all participants. To do that you would use the transfer API and then return this TwiML:

We now offer full whisper monitor and barge functionality within Conference.

The full docs for Agent Whisper can be found here.

Outbound Conference Call API

When you’re placing outbound calls to connect agents to customers or prospects, you want the experience to be as responsive and smooth as possible. To enable that experience, we’ve added a new API for placing outbound calls from conferences.

This API has a few unique properties. It’s a declarative API for specifying “create an outbound call and connect it to a conference”. Instead of creating an outbound call and then once the call connects having Twilio fetch TwiML, calls created with this API are connected to a conference immediately on creation.

However, what is most powerful is that agents can now hear the state of the outbound call (like ringing or disconnect messages) while still being in a Conference. We call this “early media”. This not only improves agent productivity but also makes it possible to have supervisors in outbound call flow scenarios.

An example request for this API is below:

We now offer full whisper monitor and barge functionality within Conference.

Another cool feature is the ability to address the Conference by friendly name in addition to a SID, in this case, AgentConf12. This is a small but powerful feature because it reduces the state you have to keep track on your application making. The full docs for this feature can be found here.


Agent Conference offers advanced features for building agent-centric call flows on Twilio. It’s priced starting at $0.0033 per participant per minute.

Region Conference Agent Conference
US – East $0.0018 $0.0033
Europe – Dublin $0.0025 $0.004
APAC – Tokyo $0.003 $0.0045
APAC – Sydney $0.003 $0.0045
APAC – Singapore $0.003 $0.0045
South America – São Paulo $0.004 $0.0055

*Prices above are per participant per minute.

How to get started

Agent Conference is available to all Twilio developers today. To get started:

If you have any questions about the feature or how to implement it, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Sales team.

What’s Next: SDKs and Conference Features

Next, the Conference team is working to enhance Agent Conference by offering better visibility and control over participants via a client-side JavaScript SDK. We’re also planning to add DTMF event detection and the ability to <Play> or <Say> to participants.

Stay tuned for morewe can’t wait to see what you build.

  • Jason Hurdlow

    Does the Agent Conference pricing kick in on a regular conference when a Whisper is initiated? Or do you have to start a conference in Agent Conference “mode” at the start (on the presumption that you ‘might’ need to Whisper)?

    • Nico Acosta

      Hi Jason, you have to start the conference on Agent Conference mode to take advantage of the Agent Conf features

      • Jason Hurdlow

        That’s unfortunate. One shouldn’t have to incur an almost double per-minute rate to have access to a feature they may-or-may-not use on any given call; especially considering it’s just a half-step between using existing conferencing with a muted participant vs. un-muted participant. This on top of the recent forced-removal of the free conferencing option is going too far. Since we’re already being forced to pay for conferencing, these minor new features need to be part of the existing conferencing offering.

  • Patrick McCallum

    Hey guys,

    Looks like there’s a typo with the code sample, the line…

    –data-urlencode ‘EarlyMedia=true
    is missing a closing ‘

    Just a heads up :)